Sad word today that the 24-7 java joint CounterCulture Cafe at 24th Street and McDowell Road is closing its doors after their asshole landlords gave owners Andres (Dre) Yuhnke and wife Mony literally one day to amscray. Seems there was a gentleman's agreement about the rent, but the Yuhnke's landlords are far from gentlemen, so now a real hub of alt-culture in the PHX must close its doors by 10 a.m. tomorrow. CCC, which would have been two years old this November, was a gathering place, with everyone from punks and goths to performance artists and chess-playing geeks stopping by for lattes and late-night confabs. On Monday nights, there was the Anarchist Library, with radical readings and political discussions. On Wednesdays, it was anything goes with SpeakUp!, CCC's free-for-all open-mic night. Other eves, you might catch hip-hop acts, electronica, wacky vegan festivals, you name it. I liked it because they were WiFi enabled, had funky art on the walls, and you could chill there after the bars closed and dry out before heading back home. Downstairs was a cool little boutique called, you guessed it, "Downstairs." And there was great coffee and a friendly vibe. Basically, the PHX likes to bill itself as a real city, but this was one of the few venues in town that made it seem like a real city.
Silver lining alert: Andres says he's gonna hook up with the cats over at the Paper Heart on Grand Ave., and bring all of this brand new kitchen equipment with 'em. According to his spouse Mony, "CounterCulture at Paper Heart" is scheduled to start up in December. Maybe with the CCC on board Paper Heart can survive its current financial tribulations. It's no mistake that all of this is happening right now, with the light rail going in, and ASU's tribe of yuppie students newly ensconced. There's money in them thar vacant lots, pallie. The Yuhnke's lowbrow landlords plan a strip mall right behind where CCC now sits. Pave paradise, put up a 7-11, or something like that...